Manchester Metropolitan University

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Judge crowns national 'legal argument' champions

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MANCHESTER Metropolitan University have won the Oxford University Press (OUP) and BPP National Mooting Competition 2012-2013.

Mooting is the justice system term for arguing a case - a vital skill in the armoury of successful barristers.

Christopher Canning and Nicholas Lee emerged as worthy moot champions, from a pool of talented advocates each putting up an admirable fight. Competition came from the University of Lincoln, the University of Leicester and this year’s runners up City University London during the final, held on Thursday 27th June at BPP Law School, Holborn, London.

The two winning law students receive a certificate, trophy and £750 each. Their win is a first for Manchester Metropolitan University on the occasion of their university's debut in the final round.

The runners-up, Benjamin Woolgar and Louis Zvesper of City University London share £700 between them and the other finalists, representing the University of Lincoln and the University of Leicester win £150 of OUP books each.

Lively questioning

His Honour Judge Charles Gratwicke of Chelmsford Crown Court returned to preside over the final again, and kept the students on their toes with some lively questioning.

In his summing up, Judge Gratwicke said: “Once again, the standard of mooting this evening is humbling. We are blessed in having a very, very good bunch of advocates, whom I have seen here tonight. I hope that all of you will continue on, as you all have an extreme amount of talent. Everyone did themselves proud this evening. Congratulations to you all.”

Ruth Sutton, Principal Lecturer at Manchester Law School and Programme Director of the Graduate Diploma in Law, said: “We are very proud! The team involved really are gifted mooters and deserve all of the credit. They have had great support from the staff, especially Jeff Hill and Catherine Higgins to whom I am also very grateful.

“This is the first year that we have run the Legal Skills and Practice Unit on the GDL in which mooting is taught and assessed. We think this is nationally unique and really hope that this has helped the students in their ability to compete and win at this level.

Passion and talent

Peter Crisp, Dean of BPP Law School said: “Mr Canning and Mr Lee are to be congratulated in seeing off such stiff competition. We put a lot of effort in each year to make the moot problems challenging and all of those entering did their tutors proud.”

Stella White, of OUP said: “These students demonstrate such passion for and a commitment to mooting. Thank you not just to our eight finalists, but to each and every one of the students who, with the support of their law schools, have participated in the OUP and BPP National Mooting Competition 2012-2013. This competition is a high-calibre, must enter event because you all make it so."

The fictitious moot problem was devised for the final by Mark Higgins of BPP Law School. The appeal centred on Miss Olivia Roberts who, whilst undertaking her pupillage at 5 Rivers Court, is asked to forego her fees in the Second Six due to cash flow problems at Chambers with a verbal promise of being a ‘shoe-in for tenancy’. Chambers cannot afford to expand and she is not offered tenancy at the end of her pupillage. Students were challenged on topics such as duress and undue influence.

Teams wishing to enter the 2013-2014 mooting competition can register their interest by email to mooting.uk@oup.com

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